Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire: Khichdi with Pesto sauce

What type of movie is Slumdog Millionaire?

a. Hollywood blockbuster
b. Hollywood indie movie
c. Crossover cinema
d. A western attempt to make a Bollywood movie

Who would you rate the king of lost and found movies where incidents just happen so that you can discover your loved ones coincidentally?

a. James Cameron
b. Danny Boyle
c. Prakash Jha
d. Manmohan Desai

Who would you rate the king of cop interrogation scenes that can be straight of the Gamdevi police chowki ?

a.Martin Scorcsese
b.Danny Boyle
c.Rajkumar Santoshi
d.Ramgopal Verma

Which movie would you describe as the most realistic description of slum life in Mumbai that tugs your emotions and reminds you of Dharavi instantaneously?

a.Harold and Kumar
b.Slumdog Millionaire
d.Salaam Mumbai

Which train scene best epitomizes the ability of a person to separate with a loved one as the train gather momentum?
b. Slumdog Millionaire when Jamal loses Latika
c. Hum when Amitabh loses Kimi Katkar
d. Yaadon ki Baraat when Dharam paaji loses his brothers because he jumped early

Which is AR Rehman’s best background score in a movie?
a. Moulin Rouge
b. Slumdog Millionaire
c. Rangeela
d, Bombay

Which is the best dialogue that appeals to people who rely on fate and things beyond their control to justify what happens in their lives?
a. ‘I believe in America’ from Godfather
b. ‘It is written’ from Slumdog Millionaire
c. ‘Mere paas maa hai’ from Deewar.
d. ‘Arrey oh baabu mushoy hum to rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jiski dor us upar wale ke haathon main hai kab, kaun kahan uthega ye koi nahin janta from Anand.

So you get the drift if most of your answers are a then you have never been to movies more than once a year, Hindi or English. If your answer is b then you have not seen enough Hindi movies since you lived in South Mumbai or somewhere far away from India. If your answer is c you have never seen Hindi movies twice. If your answer is d you will come out of Slumdog thinking why there is so much hype over this movie.

There are some improbable scenes just because this movie had to be in English. Jamal Malik speaks accented English at a Gamdevi police station where Saurabh Shukla is on his best MC/BCs behaviour. The most popular bhikari song in Mumbai is not a Soordas bhajan Mr.Boyle, but Shirde wale Sai baba aaya hai tera dar pe qawwali. And a Latika cannot turn into a Pinto, anyone can recognize her Goanness from a distance. Like the last error, Mr.Boyle never had time for such nuances. He was on a ride to show the worst scenes from Mumbai, lampoon India and its call center culture all in the guise of making a feel good movie.

The movie definitely is feel good but its not Oscar material, its pure kitsch its the same as the British discovering balti chicken and now calling it their own. As a sign of protest, I nominate Amar Akbar Anthony for the Oscars. It had feel good , lost and found, scenes from the slums of that time and everything that makes fate the winner. In a way the success of this movie seems well written but I am sure of buffet of the scenes from several Indian movies would taste better than this khichdi with pesto sauce.

And maybe Bollywood directors should resort to reading books ( beyond Chetan Bhagat) and watching Korean DVDs, we could have made our own Jhopadpati Crorepati (why didn’t they think of that name for the Hindi version?).